I have always been drawn to art, but my family believed that artist is not a proper profession and I didn’t even dream of becoming one. I took a path that promised me a steady income – public relations. After attaining my degree, I worked in the field quite successfully, but my creative side was calling and constantly reminding me who I really was. I tried drawing, bead weaving, knitting. Finally in 2006 I mastered up some courage and singed up for an adult oil painting class. This changed my life. Within a few weeks I realized the meaning of words “calling” and “to be passionate about what you do”. Since then I have never stopped painting and started seriously considering being an artist.
I was painting on my own, taking all available to me courses, reading all the books that I could find. My opportunities to learn expanded considerably once I moved from Siberia to Toronto in 2009. Here I continued making art while of settling down in a new country. A couple of times I thought of getting in institution based education, but decided against it as I much prefer to design my own educational process. I keep learning to this day and I’m pretty confident I will never get tired of it. Among my teachers and programs I took in Toronto – Academy of Art Canada and Art Program in Central Technical school; In Russia – Balyshev studio, Kalacheva school. Currently I study a lot online and experiment in my Toronto based studio.
In October 2014 I started teaching painting workshops for adults, which continue to this day. Now I teach, paint, get involved in community engaged projects such as “Art in the park” (2015, in collaboration with RBC) and “Art of healing” (2015, 2016 in collaboration with Ronald McDonald House Charities).
I’ve had three solo shows since 2015 and numerous group shows around the city of Toronto. My works are in many private collections around the globe, including Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus and Russia.
Art for me is a way to process the world around and its impact on me, to hold on to those moments in my memory and my life. Sometimes I see something and get completely overpowered by desire to paint it. Everything stops around me and I start mixing colours in my head completely captivated by the impression of a subject and the need to process it, to think it out like a painting.
My paintings are very often described as “dreamy”. Strangely it has never been my intention. I often paint from life or from photo that I took, but somehow in the process image gets transformed into a dreamy, almost surreal kind of reality, a different dimension of it. I think my personality does that. When I take a piece of life and paint it, pushing it through myself like through a grinder, out comes what is really inside of me. I firmly stand on the ground with my two feet, but believe there is more to life that can be seen. Very pragmatic and even skeptic in some ways, there is a part of me that belongs to a true believer. I almost never let it shine in a conversation, but it comes out every time I paint.